Department of Psychiatry Research Newsletter: May 2018

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

This newsletter arrives at the start of Mental Health Month, a time when we reaffirm our commitment and purpose as a department: to lead and collaborate in the reduction of disease and disease risk, promote mental health and well-being across the lifespan, and help individuals with mental illness achieve their highest potential. During the month, we also welcome spring which reminds us of new beginnings and brings fresh perspective. I hope the new season re-energizes you as it does me.  

In this edition of our e-newsletter, we share highlights about what makes children who are raised among substance abuse more resilient than others; a day camp developed to help young children overcome anxiety; research on risky sedative use in older patients; and much more.

I am also delighted to share that in March it was announced that the U-M Department of Psychiatry’s medical school program was ranked as the 13th top program in the country by U.S. News & World Report. This is a wonderful achievement thanks to leadership from our education team, and all our faculty and staff involved in the education mission.

I hope to connect with many of you at the annual APA meeting in New York City later this week. Please scroll through our highlights below to learn more. 


Gregory W. Dalack, M.D.
Chair, Department of Psychiatry, University of Michigan
Treasurer-Elect, American Psychiatric Association
Past President, American Association of Chairs of Departments of Psychiatry (AACDP) 2015-2016

Michigan Medicine News

When Raised Among Drug and Alcohol Abuse, What Makes Some Teens ‘Resilient’?

Children with a family history of substance use are likely to mimic addictive behaviors. Meghan Martz, Ph.D., a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Michigan Addiction Center studied kids’ brain activity to see why certain youths do not.

Camp Helps Kids with Anxiety Learn Coping Skills (and Have Fun, Too)

Kate Fitzgerald, M.D., associate professor; Maria Muzik, M.D., associate professor; and Kate Rosenblum, Ph.D., clinical professor, were featured in blog about the department’s ‘Camp Kid Power’ which was developed to help young children overcome anxiety.

New Doctors' Intense, Changing Schedules Take a Toll, Study Shows

Srijan Sen, M.D., Ph.D, the Frances and Kenneth Eisenberg Professor of Depression and Neurosciences was interviewed about his pilot study and research that was published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine illustrating the effect of the medical intern year.

Efforts to Curb Risky Sedative Use in Older Patients Brings Progress, Challenges

A new study conducted by Donovan Maust, M.D., assistant professor finds that steps to reduce prescriptions of a class of drugs that poses special hazard for older people are working. But many at-risk patients still receive them.

High Schoolers Can Shift Peers' Attitudes About Depression, Study Shows

Sagar Parikh, M.D., the John F. Greden Professor of Depression and Clinical Neuroscience and professor of psychiatry was quoted in a news release and blog regarding a publication about the U-M Depression Center’s Peer-to-Peer program. The program found that student-led depression education program boosts other students’ knowledge and awareness regarding mental health.

How to Talk to Children and Teens About Suicide: A Guide for Parents

Cheryl King, Ph.D., professor of psychiatry and a leading expert in child and adolescent suicide prevention, emphasized the need for a community approach and an open line of communication for families in this blog.

Michigan Medicine hosted a Facebook Live chat on this topic on Feb. 7, 2018. View the chat, featuring clinical assistant professors in the Department of Psychiatry Polly Gipson, Ph.D., and Cynthia Ewell Foster, Ph.D. here.

Medication-Assisted Treatment for Opioid Addiction: What’s Available, What Works

Dr. Jonathan Morrow discussed the therapies available to treat an opioid use disorder. Dr. Morrow recommended that everyone battling opioid use disorder keep Narcan at home for emergencies — and seek information about available addiction therapies.

Department of Psychiatry Federal Research Grants

  • Donovan Maust, assistant professor was awarded a new R01 grant from the NIH/NIA titled “Patient, Caregiver, and Regional Drivers of Potentially Inappropriate Medical Care for Dementia: Building the Foundation for State Dementia Policy”. Drs. Helen Kales and Kara Zivin are collaborators on the project, which continues through January 2022.
  • Paul Pfeiffer, associate professor was awarded a new R01 for his research titled, “Effectiveness and Implementation of a Peer Mentorship Intervention (PREVAIL) to Reduce Suicide Attempts Among High-Risk Adults.” The funding period is from now through 2020.

  • Cheryl King, professor of psychiatry was awarded an ROI for her research titled “24-Hour Risk for Suicide Attempts in a National Cohort of Adolescents.” The funding runs through June 2020.

Selected New Publications

  • Kate Fitzgerald, associate professor, and Dr. Stephan Taylor, professor had a new paper published the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry titled, Development of Posterior Medial Frontal Cortex Function in Pediatric Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.
  • Helen Kales, professor of psychiatry and Dr. Donovan Maust, assistant professor had a paper published in JAMA Internal Medicine titled “Association of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' National Partnership to Improve Dementia Care with the Use of Antipsychotics and Other Psychotropics in Long-term Care in the United States from 2009 to 2014.” Learn more.
  • Katherine Rosenblum, clinical professor and Dr. Maria Muzik, associate professor had a paper published in the journal Attachment and Human Development titled, “Maternal insightfulness protects against the detrimental effects of postpartum stress on positive parenting among at-risk mother–infant dyads.” Learn more.
  • Sagar Parikh, professor, authored commentary for a Lancet article titled, “Comparative efficacy and acceptability of 21 antidepressant drugs for the acute treatment of adults with major depressive disorder: a systematic review and network meta-analysis.” See Dr. Parikh’s commentary here.
  • Melvin McInnis, professor and director of the Heinz C. Prechter Bipolar Research Program was mentioned in a Psych Congress Network article titled, Researchers Propose 7 Phenoclasses of Bipolar Disorder for his paper published in the International Journal of Epidemiology. Learn more: Cohort Profile: The Heinz C. Prechter Longitudinal Study of Bipolar Disorder.

Faculty in the News (Selected)

Publication of Michigan Medicine Department of Psychiatry